April 21, 2018

Kimi Raikkonen unsure how he lost pole to Sebastian Vettel

14 April 2018, 01:44 | Ken Black

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has won the season's first two races. Giuseppe Cacace AFP

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has won the season's first two races. Giuseppe Cacace  AFP

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain gets into his vehicle during the first practice session for the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, Friday, April 13.

Hamilton's second and third place finishes in the first two races to Vettel's double win has left him 17-points behind in the title race.

Hamilton was leading in Australia before a computer glitch for Mercedes and a fortunate virtual safety vehicle handed the race on a platter to Vettel, while in Bahrain the Italian team were clearly superior as the Mercedes struggled with the high temperatures on the desert circuit.

"It has been a good day", said Hamilton.

"I was a bit beaten up but knew that if I could get a tidy lap and have a little bit of margin, I can push it".

"I obviously know what doesn't feel right in the vehicle, but now we need to find the answers and change that for tomorrow". We've been progressing through the sessions and we've got a good idea.

"It's quite straightforward here because all the tyres are quite similar in pace even though we have the double step between the ultra-soft and soft".

Despite the gap to Mercedes, Red Bull will be pleased with their impressive pace on the medium tyre in the first phase of the session where they were comfortably the quickest on this weekend's most durable compound. Ferrari were quick and Red Bull looked really fast on the long run. "But, it's good to see all the times so close". Red Bull were really quick on the long run. They are two extremes like we had in Bahrain and I think this is what happened.

"Qualifying performance, they put one on top".

This is in the top three of the circuits for overtaking but the Ferraris are faster on the straights. In addition to that, it has several technical sections with corner complexes where unique corners, such as T1 and T13, lead straight into further corners requiring a good auto balance and precise driving. The vehicle, even though it was quick, it wasn't easy to drive at all.

Lewis Hamilton kicked off the qualifying simulation runs 30 minutes into 90-minute session and set a time of 1 minute 34.179 seconds.

"On paper, this track is easier for overtaking than Bahrain, so hopefully tomorrow we can make up for what we lost today".

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